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Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Business leaders reacted to the tumultuous presidential debate on Tuesday night between President Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., as concerns mounted that a chaotic race to the November elections would add further turmoil to the markets.

Companies big and small have been on a roller coaster as coronavirus cases in the United States have continued to rise, and policymakers in Washington have inspired little confidence that they are ready to pass additional pandemic relief. After reaching a record high this month, the S&P 500 — an indicator of investor and business sentiment — appears poised to close September with a loss, its first monthly fall since March.

The first presidential debate has only added to the risks facing business. Many business leaders were concerned about disruptions to a smooth transition of power if Mr. Trump lost, while others expressed dismay at Mr. Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy and his suggestion that the Proud Boys, a far-right group, should be prepared to “stand back and stand by.”

“People just want stability, some degree of normalcy,” said Aaron Levie, chief executive of the tech company Box. “We want to understand what the geopolitical landscape looks like, what trade looks like, what immigration looks like. There’s not a clear underlying philosophy that drives this administration, other than nationalism. You just can’t predict the next move.”

Mr. Levie said he was concerned that another term for Mr. Trump would lead to fewer foreign nationals coming to the United States to pursue education and professional opportunities, noting that many of the country’s most successful companies have been started by immigrants.

“We just don’t

The Citigroup Inc. logo is displayed atop Tower 1 of Asia Square in Singapore.

Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

Amazon Inc. is planning to take over some of Citigroup Inc.’s office space in Singapore at a time when a number of the e-commerce giant’s Chinese tech rivals expand in the city state.

The online retail giant will lease three floors covering about 90,000 square feet (8,360 square meters) at Asia Square Tower 1 in the heart of the financial district, according to people with knowledge of the plans. Staff will move into the new offices early next year, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.

Citigroup, currently the building’s largest tenant with nine floors, is trimming its office space to better use its real estate as its 10-year lease is due to expire soon, the people said.

Read more about ByteDance’s plans here

Amazon’s plans in Singapore come as some of China’s biggest tech corporations such as Tencent Holdings Ltd., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and ByteDance Ltd. make the island state their beachhead for the rest of Asia. Singapore is becoming a regional base for both Western and Chinese companies because of its developed financial and legal system. It’s becoming more attractive to some as Beijing tightens its grip on Hong Kong.

Job Openings

Amazon currently has about 200 job openings in Singapore for roles covering data analytics, sales and advertising, business development, marketing and public relations, according to its career site.

A representative for Amazon declined to comment. A spokesman for Citigroup confirmed the bank is giving up the space, but declined to say which tenant is taking over. Some consumer banking staff and employees in other functions will relocate to Changi Business Park where the bank has bigger premises and

In one of the largest office deals in downtown Boston since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, investment firm Columbia Threadneedle said Tuesday that it has signed a new lease for its global headquarters in the Atlantic Wharf office tower on Atlantic Avenue.



a large body of water with a city in the background: Columbia Threadneedle plans to remain downtown, but will lease less space in a new building as more employees shift to working from home.


© David L. Ryan
Columbia Threadneedle plans to remain downtown, but will lease less space in a new building as more employees shift to working from home.

The asset management firm, which has about 500 Boston employees, will move there next year from 225 Franklin off Post Office Square, where it leases about 150,000 square feet. Its footprint at Atlantic Wharf will be smaller — two stories, which equates to about 82,000 square feet — part of a shift towards working from home and more flexibility that was in the works even before the pandemic.

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“Our new office at 290 Congress Street will provide our employees and our business with the kind of modern, engaging, and efficient space that will allow us to develop the optimal work environment for the future,” said Scott Couto, head of the company’s North American operations.

The move will happen in two phases next year, when Columbia Threadneedle’s lease at 225 Franklin expires. The company worked with real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield to scout a variety of options downtown, a process that was slowed somewhat by the pandemic, before settling on Atlantic Wharf, a 10-year-old building owned by giant landlord Boston Properties.

As at many white-collar downtown companies, most employees at Columbia Threadneedle have been working remotely since March and, for the most part, still are. A spokesman said the company plans to bring up to 25 percent of its employees back into the office this fall, with more gradually returning next year. Between commuting challenges, improved remote technology,

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